Seeking advice on good roof antenna based on my TV Fool profile

aholl75

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
My brother had great success (and a fair ration of ridicule) when he recently posted about getting an indoor antenna for his condo. In the end, his results are actually pretty good.

So now I'm here for the same expert help. I'm un-Comcasting and want to get local DTV along with my Hulu and Netflix content. I have a house on a hill face. The uphill side is to just about the south and the chimney is on the easterly end of the 2 story house. The hill is steep enough that although I'm not more than 50 feet elevation off of the peak, a cell tower on the opposite side about 1/4 mile away is nearly useless here.

Here's my TV Fool profile:
TV Fool

Please go nuts.

Thanks in advance,
AHoll
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#2
aholl,
Welcome to the forum, and hopefully, the world of FREE TV. Thank you for posting your TVfool, it saves us a lot of wasted time!

Your results don't look too bad. It appears as though your results are at ground level, I'd like you to try your TVfool again and this time, put the antenna at about 30 ft. high, and we'll see if some of those 1- and 2- edge signals improve. You have only 1 VHF-hi, but its close and Line-Of-Sight (CH 11), no problem there. Your chimney may or may not be the best location for you to put an antenna.

I believe you would need 2 antennas, one pointed NW (about 320 degrees) and one SW (about 240 degrees), this would avoid you having to install a rotor. What I am going to suggest FIRST is you try a single 4-bay like the one below:


It is a channel master 4221, You can then take it up on your roof and move it around and see what channels you get in different spots on the roof. (Edge signals can be tricky, moving the antenna just a foot can sometimes have dramatic results) After you've figured out what your getting, we can see if you should get another one like it, or a different one, as your second antenna.

As far as your brother getting ridiculed, well, my neighbors think I'm strange, but when they see my clear HD and all the channels I get for free, the laughter stops and the questions start. Let 'em laugh, I've got the last laugh.

Any of you other guys got advice?
 
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aholl75

DTVUSA Rookie
#3
MrPogi,
Thanks for the quick response. I've rerun the TV Fool signal analyis at 30 feet. That makes sense, since I'll put the antenna on the roof, not in the hedges. Here's that link:
TV Fool

I'd be thrilled if I can get the top 12 of the green and yellow stations. I'll check out the Channel Master 4221 and bring up my compass to test the two angles, 240-ish first.

Did you know CH 11 was VHF due to the azimuth? Just looking to learn how to tell.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Your only real challenge is that your signals are coming from everywhere. MrPogi's antenna choice and advice is excellent. You may be pleasantly suprised how many channels you will ultimately be able to receive.
 

Trip

Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member
#5
He knew because its channel number was between 2 and 13.

There are a number of stations on your report which are not on the air. The stations that are on the air and you will likely want to focus on are:

WWLP-11 or WFXQ-28 (NBC/CoolTV (soon)) (These two stations have the same programming, but WFXQ is likely to be much weaker than predicted.)
WFSB-33 (CBS)
WTIC-31 (FOX)
WEDH-45 (PBS/Create)
WGGB-40 (ABC/FOX)
WGBY-22 (PBS/World/Kids/Create)
WCDC-36 (ABC/RTV)
WCCT-20 (CW/ThisTV)
WVIT-30 (NBC/Universal Sports)

- Trip
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#6
He knew because its channel number was between 2 and 13.
Real Channels 2-13 are VHF and real channels 14-51 are UHF. If real channel 11 (which will appear as 22 on your TV) was weaker you might have needed a high VHF (real channels 7-13) antenna as well as a UHF antenna to receive it well. The Channel Master 4221 is a UHF antenna, but has decent gain on high VHF also.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#7
:welcome: aholl,

Your second TVFOOL report is quite promising and as Mr Pogi suggested, a screen-type antenna like a Channel Master 4221 might work well for you. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you were able to capture signals from from all around the compass.

Regarding your hill, I am in a similar location trying to 'see' two different antenna farms that are physically blocked from me -- but do to the way RF signals 'bend' over obsticles, I have managed to capture stations that 'on paper' would be impossible. Propagation Tutorial - Diffraction

To start, I'd try a chimney mounted mast and a small antenna (as above) as high as you can realistically raise it. Then, manually rotate it toward the various antenna farms and scan to add channels: then, drop your antenna about two feet and scan to add channels and do it again. Keep good records about your antenna height/s and compass bearings.

If I'm right, you will receive signals from many directions and that will require an antenna rotor. For now, I wouldn't worry about your VHF channels until you test with the above setup: it may be adequate for VHF because lower frequencies can be more 'forgiving' regarding blockages (edge) like hills.

Use good quality black-jacketed RG-6 coaxial cable: Belden is recommended, Radio Shack is not. I recommend using a Channel Master balun -- last week I discovered a new Radio Shack balun I was using was faulty.

Keep us posted on your progress and good luck!

Jim
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#8
New tv fool- Yea, thats the stuff! You have a few stations that dropped from 1- edge to LOS. Your 2- edge signals are a second PBS, and a second UNI ( I assume you are not wanting spanish programming really badly) so you don't really need them. If you have kids, you may want to try for WGBY-22 (PBS/World/Kids/Create), but most PBS stations run kids shows during the daytime.

As Trip and dkreichen1968 noted, there's some good channels there, and as Jim said you MAY be able to point somewhere between the two sets of towers and get both, as the beam on a 4 bay is pretty wide. I did note that WHPX-TV 26, your IONtv, is pretty well into the red and in a different direction (165), if you want that one, a seperate antenna for sure will be needed.

Go to Trips website for all the info you need about your stations and sub-channels: http://rabbitears.info

I envy your TVfool.

Thanks, all.
 
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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#9
aholl75,

You might take a look at the...
Antennas Direct ClearStream4:
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?prod=C4
and
Antennas Direct | Your TV and HDTV Antenna Source
and
http://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_files/attachmentlibrary/pdf/C4-sellsheet.pdf

It is Multi-directional, and just might fill the bill, with just one antenna.
Check out the reception "orbs" in the attached charts.

Also, you might re-do your chart, and enter a number for "height".
Many miss that since it's down on the lower part of the TVF page.
If you're a single story, and are going to do a standard roof mount,
enter about 15'.

Have a good Day ! )
S.W.
 
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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#11
UOOPS !!

Sorry, I've been ofline a wile, and was trying to catch up too quick.

BTW:
Anyone tried the C-4 ?
It's not known as a Hi-VHF, but, that mainly applies to the lower channels. It may do fairly well for his Ch 11, and with the Multi Directional, make the installation a LOT easier.
 
#12
Please go nuts.

Thanks in advance,
AHoll
In the spirit that you asked, I'd install two antennas. Both of them would be capable of channel 7-69 reception. I'd aim one at 240, the other at 322.

How you use and connect them would be your choice. For one TV set, use an A/B switch. For multiple TV sets, you could have different stations available on each TV. If you had an HD TiVO, you could connect one antenna to the TV set and the other to the TiVO.

Such antennas would be the HBU-33 or HD 7694P.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#13
Ahol75,

TowerGuy suggested two very good combo antennas for your situation. Please concider using an antenna rotor so you can take advantage of the plethora of stations around you. Good luck and please keep us updated on your progress establishing FREE OTA. :thumb:

Jim
 
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